Don’t dismiss the Dandelions

Dandelions

Don’t dismiss Dandelions as just another problem weed to get rid of. Like Comfrey ,Dandelions have long tap roots which allow them to absorb minerals that other shallow rooted plants can’t reach. All parts of the Dandelion are edible, flowers, leaves, and roots. Dandelions contain the following:-

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin P
  • Iron
  • Potassium
  • Zinc
  • Calcium
  • Lecithin
  • Magnesium
  • Niacin
  • Phosphorus
  • Boron

Young Dandelion leaves can be used in salads and are quite sweet but older, fully grown leaves tend to be bitterĀ and should be stripped from the central stem as the stem is where the bitterness concentrates. The name Dandelion comes from the French “Dent de lion” meaning Lions tooth because of the shape of the leaves But its official name “taraxacum officinale” means official remedy for disorders.

  • Dandelion flowers open with the sun in the morning and close at night, and they are the only flower that represents the sun (the flower), the moon (the seed globe), and the stars (the individual seeds). Dandelions attract many insects including:-
  • Ladybirds
  • Butterflies
  • Wasps
  • Bees

Dandelions have the longest flowering season of any flower and their long tap root opens up the deep compacted soil for beneficial invertebrates to rejuvenate the soil.

According to the USDA bulletin no. 8 “composition of foods” Dandelions rank in the top four green vegetables in over all nutritional value.

 

As with all plants it can be composted just don’t add the flowers or seed heads and your compost will benefit from extra minerals that most plants need but often cannot access.

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